Friday, April 27, 2012

The waiting...

The waiting truly is the hardest part.

Things might be brewing with our home sale attempt, but they also might not. We wait for more information, more details, more possible deal-breakers or deal-sealers. We wait.

All this waiting, and trusting, has me thinking more and more about how God grows faith in His people.

It's not a pleasant experience sometimes, at least not for me, because the helpless waiting forces me to realize and acknowledge that I control practically nothing in my little realm. I never did, but for many years, I thought I did. I happily meandered down the path of my life, believing that I had the final say and that I would determine my own destiny.

And I do have a say in what happens, I suppose; my decisions, my reactions, whether or not I pray fervently—all these factors play a part in what befalls me and my loved ones.

Yet, there is so very much that I cannot control. I can see only a miniscule section of the world around me, and I can't begin to understand most of what I see within that section. Not only can I not grasp it all, I am only able to imagine the visible, provable part: I believe there is also an entire reality that is invisible to us, where good forces and bad forces are always quite busy with conflicts. The more I see, the less I am able to see...

I can understand though, in hindsight, how these uncertain times have forced me to lean more heavily on God. When all is predictable and feels steady and easy, then my mind turns happily to things of little consequence: art and music, fun activities, worldly gossip. And when the rug feels as if it might be yanked out from under my hesitant feet, then I find it much more difficult to focus on even remotely shallow brain fodder. Suddenly, the stakes are higher and I feel somber. I think heavier thoughts. So, it's nice to have the advantage of memory in the midst of rickety circumstances. I look back at God's faithfulness, at how past issues have been resolved (often in ways I could never have dreamed). In this current trial, I can grasp with much more depth than I could in the past just how reliable God is, and how unpredictable, and how creative.

The older I get, the more I realize how limited is my earthly intellect in the face of the big stuff. Indeed, we are all severely limited. We can all study and ponder amino acids, but I don't know a soul who can fathom how they were initially combined to form proteins that became life. We know at how many weeks a baby's heart begins to beat, but no one can explain what causes that action to begin. Scientists guess the ages of mountain ranges, or ocean beds, try to pin histories on blobs of solidified lava, try to explain arctic ice layers, and really, their means are childish at times, their laws determined by their own manly methods. No one really knows very much, when you get right down to it. We suppose a lot, we hypothesize and educate ourselves, but I don't think most of it is certain. It's supported by more man-made data, and discussed and confirmed by people who are deeply invested in the truth of such data. That's just not good enough for me anymore.

I will admit that there appear to be some inarguable truths on this little blue orb, but I can also see that a great number of intellectuals are slapping that "truth" label onto statements at will. It's all expensive, government-funded guesswork inspired by the pursuits of a few.

Someone lent me a book recently, and I started to read it, really I did. I tried to give it a chance. But it attacked a lot of the very things by which I choose to define my role in this place. The writer tried to provide logical reasons for doubting Jesus's virgin birth, the miracles that the Bible claims He performed—that author attacked the very character of God Himself—because Jesus is God and man. If I'm going to believe the Bible, I have to believe it. Period. I can't make it logical. I can't dumb it down to fit this world's knowledge base. God told us right up front that His word would be nonsense to the nonbeliever. He didn't try to hide this from us.

So, I gave up finishing the book. I felt as if I were really getting somewhere in my faith, though, because I didn't even take offense at it. I was reading this fellow's charges, his many pompous words as he expounded on the inaccuracy of the Bible and tore it down, and I was just shaking my head as I read. He doesn't get it, I thought; he still thinks he has a clue, that author. He still thinks he can figure it all out.

We are itty, bitty fleas to this universe. We'll never wrap our little minds around it. And I'm increasingly at peace with that. How could I begin to dissect God's ways? They're not for me to comprehend.

All I know is that there's very little I know, that I am so small...but when I go to Him in prayer, He is there to meet me. I'm supposed to go as a child; I'm not to bring my childish, argumentative, proud manner. Those are not the same at all.

In the last few chapters of the book of Job, God sort of smacks down everyone who questions His decisions. He makes it clear Who is large and in charge. I know it's Old Testament, and that Jesus brought the gospel of love, but it still bears my consideration, this idea that I am "dust and ashes." There are far worse things to be.

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